By Vatican News
Childcare workers at the scene of the fire say about half the number of children killed were babies or toddlers. The others were under 10 years old.
All of them were orphans living in a children’s home situated outside the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The home was run by a US-based nonprofit religious group called The Church of Bible Understanding.
Witnesses say that orphanage had been using candles to provide light because the generator was faulty. Officials are investigating whether an overturned candle could have caused the blaze.
The Haitian government has closed around 160 unofficial orphanages over the past five years. Several hundred more continue to operate without legal authorization.
A number of orphanages, known in Haiti as “children’s centres”, were established following the 2010 earthquake.
Children housed at these orphanages either lost one or both parents in the earthquake, or were left there because their families simply cannot afford to support them.